Frequently asked questions about the Public Insight Network

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 | 10:10 a.m. CDT; updated 11:27 a.m. CDT, Friday, October 5, 2012

Looking for more answers about the Public Insight Network before you sign up to become a source? Here is some information to help you out:

What is the Public Insight Network?

The Public Insight Network, a project of American Public Media, provides a way for people to share their ideas, knowledge and experiences with journalists at the Missourian, KBIA, KOMU, the Reynolds Journalism Institute and newsrooms across the country. The network provides journalists with sources that are experienced and knowledgeable in certain topics, which helps us to produce higher-quality journalism. More than 170,000 people have signed up to be a part of the Public Insight Network.

Why should I become a source?

By becoming a source, you're helping us get it right when we cover your neighborhood, your hobbiesor your areas of expertise.

What do I know that you would be interested in?

Anything. Whether it's traveling, raising a family on a single income or living with diabetes, we're interested. Experiences that have shaped your life can help us create better journalism.

How will you use the answers I provide?

How we use your answers is really up to you. The more you tell us about yourself, the more likely reporters will be able to identify you as a source for a specific story. We will always get your permission before we publish your name or the information you share.

And even if we don't quote you, your information could help shape a story or give us ideas for other potential sources.

What can I expect by becoming a public source?

  • Emails asking for your insight on issues we plan to cover. You can respond if you have knowledge, or forward them to a friend with relevant experience.
  • An occasional follow-up call or email to get more information, if we follow a lead you provide.
  • Confidentiality: We won't quote you without your permission.
  • An open line for you to tell our newsrooms and programs what stories are important to you, your family and your community and help us set our coverage priorities.
  • No spam, marketing calls or requests for money. Your information is private and is not shared outside of a circle of trusted journalists.
  • You may be called on to help with national stories through American Public Media programs, such as Marketplace, local newsrooms such as MPR News or partner newsrooms around the country.

What do you do with my information?

The contact information you provide is added to a database that only journalists at Public Insight Network newsrooms will have access to. The full text of any web questionnaires that you answer will only be seen by journalists working on a particular story or project related to your answers.

Can I pass along the queries to friends?

Absolutely. If you have friends, who might be interested in a query, please pass it along to them.

Can I pitch story ideas?

Of course. We read all the submissions that we receive, and we promise to pass along story ideas to the right people.

I still have more questions. Who can I contact?

Contact Joy Mayer, the Missourian’s director of community outreach.

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